AMC HELPS NEW HAMPSHIRE MONITOR AIR QUALITY

by Christian Mower on May 10, 2012

WHEN IT COMES TO MONITORING AIR QUALITY IN NEW HAMPSHIRE, THE DEPARTMENT OF ENVIRONMENTAL SERVICES SAYS IT RELIES ON 15 MONITORING STATIONS AROUND THE STATE, SOME OF WHICH ARE OPERATED BY THE APPALACHIAN MOUNTAIN CLUB.

KENNETT HIGH SCHOOL AND UNIVERSITY OF NEW HAMPSHIRE GRADUATE GEORGIA MURRAY IS A STAFF SCIENTIST WITH THE AMC. SHE SAYS THE AMC FIRST STARTED MONITORING ACID RAIN ON MOUNT WASHINGTON IN THE LATE 1970s NEAR THE LAKE OF THE CLOUDS HUT.

THE CLUB THEN WENT ON TO START MONITORING LEVELS OF OZONE AND FINE PARTICULATES AND IT NOW PARTNERS WITH NEW HAMPSHIRE DES, THE U.S. EPA AND THE U.S. FOREST SERVICE IN GATHERING AND EVALUATING THE DATA.

MURRAY SAYS HIGH OZONE LEVELS CAN CAUSE RESPIRATORY DISTRESS TO HIKERS AND OTHER PEOPLE, BUT THAT THE AIR QUALITY AT TWO MONITORING SITES, ON THE SUMMIT OF MOUNT WASHINGTON AND AT CAMP DODGE AT PINKHAM NOTCH, HAS BEEN GETTING BETTER.

THE SUMMIT OF MOUNT WASHINGTON IS MORE THAN 6,000 FEET – THE ELEVATION AT CAMP DODGE AT PINKHAM NOTCH IS ABOUT 2,000 FEET.

MURRAY SAYS FEDERAL LEGISLATION LIKE THE CLEAN AIR ACT HAS HELPED SIGNIFICANTLY – AND INDIVIDUAL ACTIONS CAN ALSO CONTRIBUTE TO CLEANER AIR.

FOR MORE INFORMATION ABOUT THE WORK OF THE AMC, SEE THE WEBSITE AT www.outdoors.org.